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Jean, the “Dancing Machine,” Turns 100 Years Old

Jean's Birthday

Jean Dahlinger

South Lake Tahoe, CA – Family, friends, and members of the jazz band gathered to celebrate Jean Dahlinger’s 100th birthday at the Barton Mountain Café. Hugs and smiles filled the room as the South Lake Tahoe High School jazz band kicked off the party with “America the Beautiful” and a rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Jean was born on November 12, 1914 and raised in Los Angeles, California. She began attending dance school at age 5. By the age of 15, when the great depression started, Jean traveled all over the country as “Jean Dallon” with a dance theater troupe to help support her family. Because of her early dancing career, she never attended high school.

Jean married and raised a family. When her husband passed away in 1971, she ran their pet store by herself until the age of 75.

Jean has lived in South Lake Tahoe for the last seventeen years. She boasts that she was never sick until the age of 95 when she broke her foot. She keeps herself busy by knitting hats on a loom and has made hundreds for friends, family, and her fellow skilled nursing residents, plus their children and grandchildren.

“Jean is known for her very positive outlook on life,” states Maureen Froyum, Activity Director for the Barton Skilled Nursing Facility. “I remember when she first came to the skilled nursing facility and she told me this is the smallest place she has ever lived, but she is the happiest! We love our Jean. Jean, the dancing machine, is what we affectingly call her.”

Jean is currently the Skilled Nursing Facility’s “Resident of the Month.” A colorful collage is on display with various pictures from her dancing career.